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Drooling over your favourite Panera Bread Sandwich and wondering how on earth do they make it?? Well, this Panini Bread Recipe is surely gonna blow your mind then..

You are watching: What Is A Panini Bread

Soft and Chewy bread customised to your favourite fillings, grilled to perfection and that too right at the comfort of your home. What more could you ask for?

pin image of panini bread

What is a Panini?

Panini is basically a sandwich but is made with not the regular bread recipe. A panino or panini is a sandwich made using Italian bread.

Off lately, it has gained popularity in bakeries across the country.

And one such bakery that we all know is the Panera Bread. The sandwiches that they sell are so good and trust me with this panini bread recipe you can totally crack it at home.

A classic recipe that uses leftover meat or salad leaves as a filling and is usually pressed in a panini maker and served hot. A great filling sandwich perfect for your lunch.

The crispy grilled bread with your favourite filling and the melting goey cheese – oh my gosh I am sorted for my lunch this weekend. What are your plans?

panini bread held in my hands to show it closely

The secret to making Bakery style Panini Bread

There is a reason why I am claiming this as the best bread for panini. You can make the best panini using this secret bakery style recipe.

And this is also the trick that I use to make the best Bakery Style Pizza Dough as well.

Won’t keep you waiting for long and that secret thing is to make the “BIGA” or the starter before actually making the dough.

What is Biga?

Biga is basically a starter culture or you may say a pre-ferment made from flour and yeast.

Advantages of using Biga:

  1. It helps to increase the enzyme activity that is the yeast activity of panini dough. Not only panini but all yeast bread recipes.
  2. Also imparts a beautiful flavour and aroma to the baked bread.

Apart from the Biga the other panini bread ingredients include:

The usual Flour, Yeast, Salt and Oil.

Other than that

  1. Maltexo : It does the work of adding sugar or food to the yeast. But I did not want to make a round to the stores to buy something that I am sure would be lying on one corner of my pantry unless I dig in to find ways to use it ;)So instead I have substituted it with honey which is a common ingredient in our pantry 😀
  2. Sun-Dried Tomatoes: It imparts an amazing flavour to the Panini bread recipe but of course you can skip it if it is not handy or not available in the place where you live 🙂

6 steps to help you master making your own homemade Panini Bread?

Step 1: Making the Biga

step 1 making the biga of panini bread

The night before just combine the flour, yeast and water until it comes together as a dough. There is absolutely no need to knead the dough.

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Cling wrap and let it ferment overnight.

Step 2: How to make the Panini Bread Dough

step 2 making panini bread dough

Just combine all the ingredients – flour, salt, olive oil, honey, yeast dissolved in water into a stand mixer along with the biga that is the starter that you made on the previous night. Knead it in the stand mixer for 8 mins.

Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and mix for 30 sec until it gets incorporated.

A stand mixer really makes your life easier right!!

But if you do not have a stand mixer you can still knead this bread manually. Knead it for 15-20 mins until you get a soft dough.

This dough is not as tacky as the ones we made for Pita Bread but instead is a soft dough similar to our regular Indian chapati dough.

Step 3: First Proofing

Lightly oil the bowl in which you mixed the dough with some olive oil and spread all around.

Place the dough in it and coat it with oil so that it does not dry out, cover it with a tea towel or cling wrap and then allow it for first proofing – 40 mins.

Step 4 : Scaling and Shaping

step 4 scaling of panini bread dough

After 40 mins take the dough out onto your work top. Scale and divide the dough into 100 gms each.

You would get 12 roundels from this recipe.

Lightly tuck the sides of each dough to the bottom and give it a round shape. Check this video on how to shape the bread into roundels. Super helpful for beginners.

Cover the roundels with tea towel and allow an intermediate proofing of 10 mins.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Beginner’s Tip: Always keep your bread dough covered so that it does not dry out. #snf” quote=”Beginner’s Tip: Always keep your bread dough covered so that it does not dry out. #snf” theme=”style5″]


step 5 shaping the panini bread dough

Take the roundel that you had done first.

Flatten it out.

Take the top portion of the dough and bring it to the centre and press well so that it sticks to the centre really well.

Repeat the same on the bottom side. Take the bottom side and bring it to the centre such that it overlaps the first fold. Seal well.

Turn around and roll it forwards and backwards such that you get two narrow ends and a broad centre. This shape is called “Torpedo shape” in culinary terms.

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Shape all the roundels in the same manner.

Using a rolling pin roll the torpedo’s to get an elongated oval shape.

Let it proof for 10-12 mins before hitting the oven.

Step 5: Baking

step 6 baking the panini bread

Bake them in a preheated oven of 160°C for 14-18 mins.

The bread would be pale in colour even after baking. Do not worry that is how it should be. Soft and pale.

Once the bread is cooled completely make a slit in the centre fill in with your favourite filling and then grill in a panini press or panini sandwich maker until crispy and toasted. Enjoy your toasted panini warm 🙂

two grilled panini bread served on a white oval plate

Which is the best Panini Maker to own?

Cuisinart panini press and Breville panini press are a really good ones to own.

Can I make this easy panini bread recipe without panini maker?

Yes, of course, you can. Even I used my sandwich grill maker for the same. And it turned out absolutely amazing in it.

How to store the Panini Breads?

Cling wrap the panini bread individually and then store it at room temperature for 2 days or in the freezer for upto a month.

When needed let it thaw to room temperature and then slice, fill, grill and enjoy.

panini bread placed on a bowl

And here is how to make panini bread at home?

Now instead of looking for where to get panini bread, make your own with this Panera bread copycat recipes.

If you are someone who truly enjoys good panini bread then definitely try this out yourself and if you do then let me know by tagging me, tweeting me or Instagram me. I would love to connect with you.

Pin this to your Bread Board

pin image of panini bread

I will see you soon with yet another recipe

Until then



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